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Kalitta Motorsports News

GNP 1515-01320

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 12, 2015) J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, and Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, earned semi-final finishes this weekend at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Todd, who was celebrating his one-year anniversary with Kalitta Motorsports, had a great Friday qualifying session. He guided the Red Line Oil team to the top spot with an elapsed time of 3.758 seconds. Saturday saw Las Vegas heat pick up, and Todds number would not be beat. It was his eighth career no. 1 qualifier, second consecutive and fifth in the past 11 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events.

Todd drew Steve Faria in the first round. Faria put up career best numbers, but they could not compete with the speed of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster which ran a 3.825 seconds at over 320 mph. Dom Lagana was Todds second round opponent, but Todd was able to overcome that challenge as well to advance to his twenty-third career semi-final or better finish. The final four pairing put Todd against a fellow Road to the Future winner, Richie Crampton.

Todd and Crampton raced a great race with solid reaction and elapsed times but Crampton got to finish line just eleven thousandths of a second before the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster.

The Red Line Oil guys definitely did a good job this weekend,said Todd. The performance is definitely back, but I need to do a better job driving. Rounds like that are tough for me.

Todds success this weekend advanced him one position in the point standings to ninth, while expanding his lead over eleventh to nearly two rounds.

DeJoria returned to the NHRA Nationals as the defending event champion. A small fire in the Patron trailer was not enough to keep the Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar-led crew down. The team laid down four consistent passes in qualifying. The quickest run, a 4.037 second pass at 308 mph, placed DeJoria fourth in the qualifying order. The Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car also ran the best pass on Saturdays qualifying session to prove that they would be one of the teams that would challenge for the trophy on Sunday.

In a highly anticipated matchup, DeJoria drew fellow female competitor, Courtney Force, in round one. She recorded a solid reaction time and defeated Force with a 4.115 second pass. That meant that she gave up lane choice to her teammate, Del Worsham, in round two. However, both lanes would prove to be difficult for the Team Kalitta teammates as both of the Toyota Camry Funny Cars smoked the tires about halfway down the track. DeJoria was able to get her Camry to corporate quicker, and that led her to victory over her teammate. Although she succumbed to tire smoke again in her sixteenth career semi-final or better finish, it was a successful weekend for the Patrón team which moved up several spots in the point standings.

Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, came into Las Vegas with a very consistent race car. Although he had yet to pick up an event win, the DHL team was leading the point standings coming into the event. Jon Oberhofer and Nicky Boninfante tuned the Toyota Camry Funny Car to a solid 4.048 second pass at 316.52 mph to earn bonus points and another top five starting position. Worsham drew fellow Toyota Racing driver Tony Pedregon in round one. The DHL Yella Fellasgave Worsham a solid and clean 4.11 pass to advance him to face his teammate in round two. In a dual tire-pedaling run, DeJoria just got by Worsham.

Tough loss, the DHL Camry has not smoked the tires much this year and I never felt like the car calmed down enough for me to be able to get back on it,said Worsham. The DHL Toyota Camry is still running well and we are looking forward to Houston.

The DHL team leaves The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in second in the points, less than a round out of the top spot.

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, started another race from the top half of the field. His Friday evening efforts of 3.793 seconds at over 315 mph placed him sixth overall for Sundays eliminations. For his efforts, he drew Don Schumacher Racing driver Spencer Massey. Kalittas 3.807 second pass would have been good enough to defeat nearly ever other winner in the class in the first session, but Spencer Massey. His slightly quicker 3.796 second run moved Massey past the driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster.

Unfortunately, we just drew the wrong opponent on Sunday,said Kalitta. My Mac Tools group laid down a solid number, but it wasnt enough. We learned a lot about the heat this weekend, and look forward to using that information in Houston in a couple weeks.

It was just Kalittas second first round defeat this season, and his consistency allowed the Mac Tools team to retain a position in the top ten of the point standings.

After five races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have advanced to three final rounds and earned two no.1 qualifying positions. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series has next weekend off. Our next race takes us down to Texas for the OReilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Houston from April 24-26.

J.R. Todd Driver of the Red Line Oi/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 1 Qualifier (3.758 sec., 324.83 mph)

E1: Todd defeated Faria - 3.825 sec., 320.81 mph to 3.957 sec., 307.02 mph

E2: Todd defeated Lagana - 3.916 sec., 308.64 mph to 9.168 sec., 73.27 mph

E3: Todd defeated by Crampton - 3.837 sec., 321.73 mph to 3.828 sec., 318.32 mph

Alexis DeJoria Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:

No. 4 Qualifier (4.037 sec., 308.78 mph)

E1: DeJoria defeated C. Force - 4.115 sec., 301.40 mph to 4.165 sec., 304.12 mph

E2: DeJoria defeated Worsham - 5.852 sec., 239.06 mph to 5.885 sec., 160.61 mph

E3: DeJoria defeated by J. Force - 4.165 sec., 312.35 mph to 12.689 sec., 70.85 mph

Del Worsham Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:

No. 5 Qualifier (4.048 sec., 316.52 mph)

E1: Worsham defeated T. Pedregon - 4.110 sec., 312.71 mph to 4.211 sec., 291.95mph and 8.579 sec., 80.65 mph

E2: Worsham defeated by DeJoria - 5.885 sec., 160.61 mph to 5.852 sec., 239.06 mph and broke.

Doug Kalitta Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

No. 6 Qualifier (3.793 sec., 317.94 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated by Massey - 3.807 sec., 322.65 mph to 3.796 sec., 328.78 mph

GNP GN3 0579

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (April 11, 2015) – Kalitta Motorsports, the nitro-fueled, four-car NHRA drag racing team based in Ypsilanti, Mich., has completed qualifying for the NHRA Nationals on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Results and quotes follow.

J.R. Todd Driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster:

Q1: 4.748 sec., 147.29 mph
Q2:3.758 sec., 324.83 mph (Three bonus points for the quickest run of the session.)
Q3: 4.840 sec., 152.59 mph
Q4: 3.890 sec., 295.85 mph

No. 1 Qualifier

This is J.R. Todd’s and Team Kalitta’s second number one qualifier of the season and Todd’s second consecutive as picked up the no.1 position in Charlotte. It is Todd’s eighth career number one qualifier and his second consecutive at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In the past eleven races, Todd has picked up five number one qualifiers which leads all nitro classes.

Doug Kalitta Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:

Q1: 3.863 sec., 302.14 mph
Q2:3.793 sec., 317.94 mph
Q3: 4.146 sec., 217.39 mph
Q4: 4.035 sec., 245.86 mph

No. 6 Qualifier

Alexis DeJoria Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:

Q1: 4.148 sec., 296.83 mph
Q2:4.037 sec., 308.78 mph
Q3: 4.184 sec., 293.22 mph
Q4: 4.059 sec., 307.37 mph (Three bonus points for the quickest run of the session.)

No. 4 Qualifier

Del Worsham Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:

Q1: 4.116 sec., 308.71 mph (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session.)
Q2:4.048 sec., 316.52 mph
Q3: 4.658 sec., 180.77 mph
Q4: 4.085 sec., 314.09 mph

No. 5 Qualifier

First Round Competition:

1) J.R. Todd v. 16) Steve Faria

6) Doug Kalitta v. 11) Spencer Massey

4) Alexis DeJoria v. 13) Courtney Force

5) Del Worsham v. 12) Tony Pedregon


J.R. Todd, driver, Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster: The track today was probably the hottest it has been all season, and that is when you need to go down the track because that is probably how it is going to be tomorrow. The Red Line Oil team was a little aggressive both runs, it spun pretty hard in Q.4, but our early numbers were strong. Tomorrow, we just need to race the racetrack, not worry about who we are facing and hopefully we will be making four passes here at the Strip.”

Doug Kalitta, driver, Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster: “I think sixth is a good spot for tomorrow, we are on the opposite side of the ladder from our teammate (J.R. Todd). I am looking forward to go out there and pick up the win tomorrow in the Mac Tools dragster.”

Del Worsham, driver, DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car “It looks like we picked up right where we left off at the 4-Wide. The DHL Toyota Camry is running well; but we have a tough first round opponent, Tony Pedregon. He is a multiple time world champion, so we cannot take him lightly. Hopefully we are able to keep doing what we have been doing.”

LAS VEGAS (April 7, 2015)The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has become a second home for Kalitta Motorsports after several rounds of recent success.

Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, is the defending champion of the NHRA Nationals. Although she qualified in the bottom half of the field, the Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar-led crew tuned the Toyota Camry Funny Car to consistent passes to eliminate four former NHRA Funny Car Champions: Matt Hagan, Tony Pedregon, Cruz Pedregon and Robert Hight on the way to her second career victory. DeJoria comes into this Las Vegas event in the top ten in the point standings.

DeJorias teammate, Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, won The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedways fall event, the Toyota Nationals. The win started an incredible run for the DHL team; their round win record stands at 12-5 since picking up the trophy.

After the 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, Worsham took over the pointslead for the first time as the driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. This is the first time he has led the point standings since his 2011 Top Fuel Championship season. During that championship season, he also won the Toyota Nationals. Additional, Worsham is a two-time no.1 qualifier in the Funny Car class at the Strip, most recently in 2010.

Worsham is also likely the next driver within the sport to hit the 500 career round win mark. After his runner-up finish in Charlotte, Worsham is just ten rounds from that historic record.

We are off to a great start. I've been most impressed with the consistency of our DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car.With the exception of first roundin Gainesville, our Camryhas performed and responded to everything we've asked, said Worsham.

I think if we just continue to learn and trust our judgement the DHL teamshould do well all season.

J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air dragster, is the Top Fuel classs most recent no. 1 qualifier. Todd picked up the top spot in Charlotte, with a career best 3.713 second pass. Last time he was at the Strip, Todd was also laying down career-best numbers on his way to another no.1 qualifier and a final round appearance. His qualifying effort, a 3.732 second run, stands as the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedways track record for the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel class.

However, last seasons NHRA Nationals will be a great memory for Todd. A surprise phone call from Kalitta Motorsports team owner and NHRA legend Connie Kalitta gave Todd the wheel of the Bounty Hunter Top Fuel Dragster halfway through qualifying. He qualified solidly in the show and picked up a first round win over Richie Crampton. That result led him to a full-time ride, and much success. Since the NHRA Nationals, Todd has picked up more than 25 round wins, one victory (Denver), multiple final round appearances and a runner-up position in the standings. Todd will celebrate his anniversary with Kalitta Motorsports by participating in the SkyJump at the Stratosphere Hotel Casino. The SkyJump is a 108-story leap from the top of the hotel that reaches speeds of 40+ mph.

Although Todd is looking for his first win at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he does combine last seasons final round appearance with another. During his historic rookie season in 2006, one of Todds four final round appearances was at the fall race in Las Vegas.

I think the Red Line Oil team is finally on-track, said Todd. Although we had some bad luck in the first round in Charlotte, I am confident returning to the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with all of Kalitta Motorsports recent success.

Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, continues to be very consistent. The 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte yielded another round win, while a recent test at the Auto Plus Raceway of Gainesville makes the Jim Oberhofer-led Mac Tools crew excited to return to the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, especially with the recent team success.

Last season, Kalitta drove to the final round in the NHRA Nationals. He picked up round wins over Steve Faria, Bob Vandergriff and Steve Torrence to reach his fourth final round appearance in Las Vegas. Although he is looking for his first win, Kalitta does hold two no. 1 qualifiers which he picked up at the spring event in 2003 and 2005.

The Mac Tools team is excited to return to Las Vegas, said Kalitta. This race is also sponsored by another one of our great partners, Summit Racing Equipment, which makes it even more special to win.

JR Todd HeadshotLAS VEGAS (March 24, 2015) The NHRA Nationals marks a big anniversary for J.R. Todd, driver of the Red Line Oil Top Fuel Dragster, and Kalitta Motorsports. One year ago, Todd took a leap of faith and flew cross-country to drive for Team Kalitta. To celebrate that anniversary, Todd will take another leap of faith: a 108-story jump from the top of the Stratosphere.

Since joining Team Kalitta, Todds career has been rejuvenated. Despite not running full-time since 2008, Todd jumped into the Kalitta seat in 2014 and has earned more than 25 round wins and reset his career best numbers multiple times. Todd reached Victory Lane in Denver, and multiple other final round appearances including the seriesmost recent event in Las Vegas last fall. Even though he missed the first two races of last season, Todd made the Mello Yello Countdown for the Championship in tenth place and moved all the way to the runner-up position by seasonsend.

After last weekends qualifying effort, we are definitely on the right track,said Todd. The SkyJump is a cool way to start the weekend and hopefully we finish it with the Wally in Victory Lane!

To celebrate his time with Kalitta Motorsports, Todd will be making the SkyJump from the top of the Stratosphere Hotel Casino on the evening of April ninth. The SkyJump consists of a leap from 108-stories or nearly 1,000 feet at speeds over 40 mph. Although the seventeen seconds he will be in the air maybe longer than Todd normally experiences 1,000 feet, the exhilarating feeling and exceptional views of the Las Vegas Strip make this a perfect way to honor the moment.

"We are excited that J.R. Todd is celebrating his one year anniversary with Kalitta Motorsports by braving Stratospheres SkyJump,said the Stratospheres Director of Marketing, Todd Ford. “This exhilarating 108-story plunge is the ultimate leap of faith for any thrill seekeror NHRA driver."

Kalitta Merchandise


Funny Car Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

1 Robert Hight 990
2 John Force 786
3 Tommy Johnson Jr 783
4 Ron Capps 741
5 Jack Beckman 720
6 J.R. Todd 711
7 Matt Hagan 624
8 Tim Wilkerson 587
9 Bob Tasca III 574
10 Shawn Langdon 528

Top Fuel Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

1 Steve Torrence 1048
2 Doug Kalitta 709
3 Mike Salinas 691
4 Antron Brown 676
5 Brittany Force 663
6 Clay Millican 611
7 Leah Pritchett 571
8 Richie Crampton 499
9 Austin Prock 486
10 Terry McMillen 470



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